Communism: The Pinnacle of Capitalism
Birthday of German Philosopher Friedrich Engels
Born on 28 November 1820, Friedrich Engels was a German philosopher, author, and political theorist keen on spreading the ideologies of socialism and communism alongside Karl Marx.
While Engels was a capitalist himself – being born into a wealthy industrial family – that didn’t stop him from criticizing the means of reaching the end goal of his profitable empire. Even prior to his association with Marx, he was an advocate of communism as expressed through his widely influential book called The Condition of the Working Class in England (1845).
Engels heavily contributed to what is known as Marxism today, starting in 1848 by co-authoring The Communist Manifesto with Marx. He supported Marx financially by providing him with dwellings and resources, eventually leading to the publishing of Das Kapital. After Marx’s demise, Engels continued to work on his notes and manuscripts, publishing volumes 2 and 3 of Das Kapital which formed the basis of communism until the mid-20th century.
Osho talks about religion and Engels’ communism, “Zen is the only religious phenomenon in the world which has no doctrine, no scripture, which has no God, no belief system, no organized church. It is an individual phenomenon, just like love. You don’t have a church of love. You don’t have a political party for love. It is an individual freedom. Just as love is individual, so is meditation. And to me, religion only means one thing: meditation, going inwards and exploring your consciousness. Just the way science explores matter, meditation is the science of the inner; it explores consciousness.
I have my points of agreement with Karl Marx, with Engels, with Lenin, with Gorbachev. I have my points of disagreement. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels were aware only of two religions, Judaism and Christianity, which are both just so-so religions. Marx and Engels were not aware of Zen, they were not aware of Tao, they were not aware of meditation. It is not their fault; their whole concern was how to make society economically equal. So they said that man is only matter, and consciousness is a by-product of matter. When the man dies, the consciousness also dies. On that point I am in absolute disagreement.”
ARE YOU IN FAVOR OF COMMUNISM?
Yes and no. First let us discuss the no.
I am against the communism that exists in the Soviet Union, in China, and in other communist countries. I am against the communism that Karl Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, these people, have given birth to, because what they have given birth to is not communism; that’s why I am against it. What they have given birth to is a dictatorial, inhuman, slave society — undemocratic, with no respect for the individual and no recognition even for the individual. He is only a number, just as in the army numbers exist.
One man dies: on the army board, number eight is killed, or number eight is lost, not found. But do you see the psychological difference? Number eight has no wife, no children, no mother, no old father, no old grandmother. Number eight is just number eight: arithmetic. It has nothing to do with humanity. But if you replace it with his real name, then you feel differently. You start thinking, what will happen to his wife? He was a friend to someone — what will happen to his mother, to his old father, who were looking to him and depending on him? What will happen to his children?
Hence, in the army they don’t use names — they will create psychological disturbance in other people — only numbers, and numbers are replaceable. Number eight has fallen, let him go; somebody else becomes number eight. He will not become the husband of number eight’s wife, and he will not become the son of number eight’s father. The army is not concerned about that. Numbers are replaceable; human beings are not. The communism that has arisen out of Karl Marx is inhuman, because it does not take account of your individuality at all. Marx says you are nothing but matter. And if you are nothing but matter, then what does it matter whether you live or die? So it was very easy for Stalin to kill millions of people in Russia. It would not have been so easy if Marx had not said that you are only matter. There is no problem; Stalin feels no prick in his conscience destroying millions of people: they are not people, they don’t have any souls. They are only mechanisms.
I am not going to be a supporter of this idiotic ideology, which takes humanity from man. His humanity has to be enriched, his individuality has to be sharpened. They destroy everything that is individual. They want you just to be a part of the collective whole — just a part, a cog in the wheel, which is always replaceable. And I know that no human being is replaceable, because every human being is so unique, so utterly unique, that there is no way to replace him. In Marxian communism there is no respect for the individual. What are they closing, do you know? They are closing the door to your own being, and if the door is closed to your own being, you are separated from existence totally. Then there is no question of seeking and searching the truth; there is no question of knowing thyself, of being thyself. In fact it is dangerous, being thyself, knowing thyself. It is better to be just a cog in the wheel, with no self.
Marx’s idea is not based on any inner search. I pity the man; he was intelligent, but he remained only intellectual, bookish, a bookworm. In the British Museum library he entered every day, the first man, and he had to be forced out every night because the museum was going to be closed. And sometimes he had to be taken on a stretcher, because reading the whole day and smoking cigarettes — that was all that he was doing — he would become unconscious. For forty years continually the British Museum had to deal with this man. But they became aware that “we have to accept him. He is the first man — before the door opens, he is standing there — and he is the last man. If you find him conscious, you can take him out; if you find him unconscious, you carry him on the stretcher to the hospital.”
This man never even for a single moment meditated. He knew nothing of the inner; he was just concerned with books. What he has written in Das Kapital… no communist reads it. I have met hundreds of communists; no communist reads it. Every communist keeps it in his house, just as a Christian keeps The Bible. It is the bible of communism — and they have created the trinity exactly: Marx, Engels, Lenin; and the bible is Das Kapital — but nobody reads it. I have gone through it, from the first page to the last. It is all words, no experience; quotations from other books, but no authentic experience, not a single experience of his own…
And the reason that he is the founder of communism is not any compassion for the poor. No, not at all — it is jealousy of the rich. This you have to understand clearly, because that will change the whole attitude. His father was poor, his father’s father was poor. He was poor; he remained dependent on the support of a friend, Frederick Engels, who was a rich man who went on giving him money. Frederick Engels is not a great intellectual or anything, but because he was supporting him financially, Marx went on putting his name with his own on every book he wrote. Nothing is written by Frederick Engels, it is just Marx showing his respect. In fact it is in a way right, because without him Marx would not have been able to write; he would have starved and died. And to be a Jew and poor is a very difficult situation. I know because I was born in a Jaina family — Jainas are the Jews of India. You will not find a single Jaina beggar all over India; all the beggars are Hindu, not a single Jaina beggar. I have searched all over India, I have not been able to find a single Jaina beggar. They are not poor; everybody is comfortably rich, and most of them are the richest people in the country.
Now, to be a Jew and poor, when all other Jews are rich, naturally creates jealousy. It is not compassion for the poor. Nowhere in Das Kapital, The Communist Manifesto, and other books of Marx can you find a single statement which shows compassion for the poor — no, not at all. It is jealousy of the rich. So if I have to define it exactly the definition will be: Marx’s communism means, destroy the rich, divide the riches equally. That’s what they have done in Russia, in China. The poor are still poor, but in a way satisfied because the riches have been distributed. The rich people have been destroyed. The comparison has disappeared; now there is nobody rich to make you feel poor. You are still poor. The poverty, of course, is equally distributed. Everybody is equally poor, so nobody can compare, nobody can feel jealous. Nobody can think that things can be better than they are.
I am not in favor of distributing poverty, of destroying the rich. So I say no to the communism that exists today, the Marxian communism. But I say yes to a totally different concept of communism. To me communism is the last and the highest stage of capitalism. It is not against capitalism that communism can succeed. It is in the fulfillment of capitalism that communism happens.
Capitalism is the first system in the world which creates capital, wealth. Before, there was feudalism — it never created wealth; it exploited people, it robbed people. The wealth that the kings had in the past was a crime. It was exploited, forcibly taken from the people, from the poor; it was not their creation.
Capitalism is the first system which creates wealth. It needs intelligence to create wealth. And unless we create so much wealth that wealth loses all meaning, unless we create a standard of wealth so high that the poor automatically start becoming richer…. Nobody can eat wealth — what are you going to do with it? There comes a point of saturation. And when capitalism comes to the point of saturation, then only comes the flowering of communism. Hence I call my community a commune. Communism, the word communism, is made from ‘commune’.
I believe in capitalism. Perhaps I am the only person in the whole world to say so clearly that I believe in capitalism, because this is the first time in the history of man that a system is there which creates wealth, and can create so much wealth that with science and scientific technology added to it, there is no need for poverty. There is no need for distributing wealth, it will be distributed automatically. There is no need for any dictatorship of the proletariat. Capitalism can remain perfectly in tune with democracy, with individuality, with freedom of speech.
It destroys nothing. So my approach is that we have to spread the idea of creating wealth rather than distributing it. What are you going to distribute if you don’t have it in the first place?
Even Marx never said that communism would happen in Russia or China, because these countries are so poor — what are you going to distribute? Even Marx’s idea was that communism would happen first in America. But it happened in Russia. Of course, it is something false. It is something not exactly making people happier and richer and freer, but spoiling all that they have and giving them a false hope that, “Soon you will all be rich.” When will that ‘soon’ come? Sixty years have passed, more than sixty, since the revolution. All the revolutionaries have died. All were hoping that it is coming. Russia has remained poor, is still poor. Even the poorest man in America is in a better position than a well-salaried person in Russia. And what they have lost is of immense value. They have lost freedom, they have lost individuality, they have lost freedom of expression. They have lost everything. They are living in a vast concentration camp: no justice available, nowhere to appeal, no possibility to be heard.
I am against this kind of communism; this is so destructive. But
I have my own idea of communism; hence I say yes and no. ‘No’ for the communism that you are aware of, and ‘yes’ for the communism of which I am continually talking to you. Create wealth, richness. And now that science and technology have given you all the means to create it, it is simply foolish to think of distribution. Forget about distribution. Create it so much that it comes to a saturation point. Then from there it starts spreading to everyone. Communism is the ultimate flowering of capitalism.
Listen to the complete Audio Discourse at link below…
Chapter title: Will-to-power: The Cancer of the Soul
6 November 1984 pm in Lao Tzu Grove
Osho has spoken on ‘commune, Sannyasin, communism, institute,’ and on many politicians and rulers like Abraham Lincoln, Lenin, Mao Tse Tung, Jawaharlal Nehru, Kennedy, Stalin, Churchill, Roosevelt, Alexander, Napoleon, Jai Singh and more in His discourses.More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- Beyond Psychology
- From Bondage to Freedom
- The Last Testament, Vol 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
- Socrates Poisoned Again After 25 Centuries
- The Transmission of the Lamp
- From Darkness to Light
- The Great Pilgrimage: From Here to Here
- No Mind: The Flowers of Eternity
- Om Shantih Shantih Shantih
- Zen: The Special Transmission
- From Ignorance to Innocence
- The Path of the Mystic
- From False to Truth
- From Misery to Enlightenment
- Zen: Zest, Zip, Zap, Zing
- Communism and Zen Fire, Zen Wind
- The Book of Wisdom
- The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 3